"Food, Inc." debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September of 2008, and has since received rave reviews. The film is about to be released at theaters nationwide, and is featured this week on PBS’s "NOW, with David Brancaccio".
Now’s synopsis of its film coverage is as follows:
This week, David Brancaccio talks with filmmaker Robert Kenner, the director of "Food, Inc.," which takes a hard look at the secretive and surprising journey food takes on the way from processing plants to our dinner tables. The two discuss why contemporary food processing secrets are so closely guarded, their impact on our health, and another surprising fact: how consumers are actually empowered to make a difference.
Food, Inc. offers perspectives from various parties interested in our nation’s food production, from farmers to food safety advocates. Foodborne illness attorney Bill Marler’s perspective, titled, "How To Combat Food Poisoning in the US" is shared on the NOW website. He writes:
We need to use our technology to make food more traceable so that when an outbreak occurs authorities can quickly identify the source and limit the spread of the contamination.
Promote university research to develop better technologies to make food safe and for testing foods for contamination. Provide tax breaks for companies that push food safety research and employee training.
Improve consumer understanding of the risks of food-borne illness.
This may seem like a lot for a busy administration to chew on, but according to the CDC, every year nearly a quarter of our population is sickened, 350,000 hospitalized and 5,000 die, because of what they ate. People who eat and get sick also vote. Our politicians should do the math.
Every one of us is impacted by food safety, no matter what we eat or how it is produced. The bottom line is that we all have a responsibility to ensure our food producers (farmers, meat producers, restaurant chefs, bakers, you and I) follow the best possible practices to ensure foods are produced safely and that they remain safe, from farm to fork.
Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth gave every person something to think about when we were given suggestions for how to live more "green" lives at the end of the film. Hopefully Food, Inc. will give us more information about how we can be smarter, more involved, consumers when we are finished watching.